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Throne Speech Reiterates that Climate Change is at Forefront of Government Priorities

On November 23rd, Canada’s Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, delivered her first Speech from the Throne to open the 44th session of Parliament. The speech lays out the government’s core priorities and goals for the upcoming parliamentary session.

There were no major surprises, as the speech was kept thematic and high-level. It echoed many previously heard Liberal campaign promises, including introducing legislative measures that support pandemic-stricken industries, protecting healthcare workers, instituting 10 paid sick days for all federally regulated workers and banning conversion therapy.

Points of particular interest for the automotive aftermarket industry include:

  • A resilient economy. A resilient economy for this government means an economy of the future; one that invests in people and focuses on innovation and green jobs.
  • Clean industries. The government wants clean industries and to produce the world’s cleanest vehicles.
  • Zero-emission vehicles. The government intends to mandate the sale of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to 100% by 2035.

AIA Canada’s advocacy work is well aligned with the Government’s agenda. Combatting climate change is clearly a top priority for this government. Canada’s transportation sector accounts for 25% of national greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and will play a key role in the government’s climate action plan. The aftermarket industry is a part of the transportation ecosystem. Therefore, the opportunity is ripe to present industry recommendations to government, and work together to help industry prepare for an increasingly ZEV fleet and to mitigate risks associated with new mobility.

Further, the focus on ZEVs bolsters our calls for right to repair legislation, as ZEVs are more likely to be connected. By pushing ZEV uptake, government must pay closer attention to their maintenance needs—including the workforce responsible for doing so. AIA Canada’s messaging that a well-maintained vehicle is a greener vehicle aligns with efforts by government to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector. 

The priorities of the speech will now be debated, followed by a confidence vote. It is likely that the Liberal Government will not fall, as it is expected that the NDP will support its priorities. A Fall Economic Statement is also anticipated before the year’s end, which will provide a fiscal update and outline the budgetary impact of federal programs.

AIA Canada will also be closely monitoring the Ministerial Mandate letters, which will be released over the coming days and will outline specific portfolio agendas in greater detail.